Hamilton Calls India a Poor Country, Questions F1’s Venue Polic

Paola Ditto
Novembre 16, 2018

Hamilton faced a social media backlash over the comments, including being branded "arrogant" and "ignorant" - prompting the five-time world champion to respond via Twitter on Thursday.

Of course, similar comments were made in anticipation of the events in India and Korea.

Speaking amidst the celebrations of Mercedes fifth championship double, the Briton went a little further, suggesting that the sport should be looking at quality as opposed to quantity.

"On the racing side, I don't know how important it is to go to new countries as such", he said.

India hosted three grands prix at the Buddh International circuit south of the capital New Delhi from 2011-13.

Criticism of Hamilton began after he said he would prefer racing venues with "real racing history", such as England, Germany, Italy and the USA, after Vietnamese capital Hanoi was recently announced in the F1 calendar for 2020.

"But you only have one event per year in those places".

Hamilton's stance was that the lavish resources devoted to a track that is no longer in use could have perhaps been committed to more urgent causes in the country.

He added: "I've been to Vietnam before and it is handsome".

Lewis Hamilton, current Formula One Grand Prix World champion, in a recent statement questioned India's racing tradition.

"We had a grand prix in Turkey and hardly anyone came".

Hamilton's Mercedes team also stepped in to defend their star against a growing online storm, claiming that people had "distorted" what the driver had said.

Lewis Hamilton could be set to take on a grid penalty for the final race of the 2018 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi next weekend after Mercedes admitted his engine "sustained some level of damage" during the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The post reads: "Hi everyone".

"I noticed some people are upset with my comment on India" he wrote.

"I've been to Vietnam before and it is attractive", five-time world champion Hamilton told the BBC. The culture there is incredible. I have visited and always had an awesome time however whilst it is the fasted [sic] growing economy it also has a lot of poverty.

Hamilton felt conflicted as he participated in the India Grand Prix especially since the audience were unfamiliar with the series and more so when he had to drive past homeless people and then had to arrive at this massive arena where money was not an issue. "That money could have been spent on schools or homes for those in need", he said.

"When we did have the race nobody came because it was too expensive or there was no interest".

Hamilton is two world title successes short of equalling Michael Schumacher's all-time record of seven, and he added: "I feel I have still got more years, more days ahead if I am lucky, and there are still many mountains to climb".

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